In the era before the internet and television, the only way to know what was going on on the world was through newspapers. Can you name ten of the most prolific newspapers from the Civil War? Source: The History Buff's guide to the Civil War, by Thomas Flagel
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Established in 1835, this Northern newspaper was known for its sensationalism, and sold more copies on one day than most other papers could do in a month. While most papers employed one or two war correspondents, this paper employed 60.
New York Herald
Established in 1851, this Northern paper distinguished itself as one of the best sources of information on the war as it happened. While other papers sensationalized the facts, this paper became reputable for its unbiased reporting of the facts as they happened. During the 1863 New York draft riots, to protect the building where it was headquartered, editor Henry Raymond acquired a pair of Gatling guns and with help from his employees protected his buisness.
New York Times
Established in 1841, this Northern paper was known for its moral righteousness. Editor Horace Greeley ran it on an Anti-Slavery Agenda, and rotated between condemning Lincoln and others when the war was not going so well, and praising him and pushing forward national pride when the war was going well.
New York Tribune
Established in 1850, this Southern Newspaper was very widespread, but at the same time very sensational of the facts. Its offices were destroyed when Richmond was destroyed in the 1865 fire following the Union occupation of the Confederate Capital.
Richmond Daily Dispatch
Established in 1857, this Northern paper was notable for including pictures in its papers during a time when most papers did not due so due to being impractical. Though it backed the democrats in its early years, after Fort Sumter it supported the Republicans. Despite its faults, it still managed a circulation of 120,000 per issue.
Harper's Weekly Journal of Civilization
Established in 1822, this Southern newspaper was owned by the strongly pro-secessionist Robert Barnwell Rhett. Indeed, this paper was the voice of the pro-secessionist "fire-eaters." Running on an agenda of State's rights, the paper turned out to be more of an editorial than a source of information. During the war, it harshly condemned Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and just about everything he did.
Established in 1854, this Northern paper was a major voice of the anti-war democrats, or Copperheads, as they were known. So brutal were its words, that editor Wilbur F Storey received numerous death threats, and General Ambrose Burnside had troops raid and destroy the day's papers one day in 1864.
Established in 1804, this Southern newspaper at first was an opponent to secession, and was just as reliable with the facts as its northern counterpart (#2 on this quiz). After Fort Sumter, its supported secession, and its factual reliability was replaced by the need to keep Southern morale high. By 1864, it returned to factual reliability, and acknowledged critical situations like food shortages and inflation. It's offices were also destroyed when Richmond caught fire in 1865.
Established in 1847, this Southern newspaper was known for creating controversy over just about everything. Editor John M. Daniel fabricated stories of anyone and everyone, from governors to prisoners. This paper did not survive the war though, as its offices were destroyed in the fire following the 1865 Union Occupation of Richmond. Daniel himself died not to long later of illness.
Established in 1785, this British newspaper was number one when it came to foreign papers covering the American Civil War. However, it was awfully dismissive of the Union's victories, and even went as far as dismissing the Union's great Victory at Gettysburg as "just a rumor." Many predictions it would have of the war would turn out to be false.